The “Halo Effect”

October 17, 2010

Prompted by (an online exchange with) Jay Thomas i’ll quote Russell Blackford (with a slight modification) making an important point.

“… many [people] tend to cede a certain degree of moral authority to religious leaders. Even when they are putting arguments that have been given secular “translations”, religious leaders are accorded a degree of deference, as if they are moral experts. Quite weak arguments can gain a, well, halo effect if put by people who are accorded moral authority.

It’s worth reminding people that religious leaders are not moral experts.”

This also brings to mind Christopher Hitchens’ remark that you can get away with anything in the States if you put the word ‘reverend’ in front of your name.

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